Kevin Brockmeier, the author of the novel The Brief History of the Dead (Knopf, 2006), was recently named the winner of the 2006 Borders Original Voices Award in fiction. The $5,000 prize, sponsored by Borders Group, Inc., is given annually for an “innovative and ambitious work from a new and emerging talent, or a title that represents a new direction for an established author.” Brockmeier's previous books include the novel The Truth About Celia (Pantheon, 2003) and the story collection Things That Fall from the Sky (Pantheon, 2002).
The other finalists were Clifford Chase for Winkie (Grove Press, 2006), Keith Donohue for The Stolen Child (Nan A. Talese, 2006), Sara Gruen for Water for Elephents (Algonquin, 2006), and Marisha Pessi for Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Viking, 2006).
The award is also given in the categories of nonfiction, children's picture books, young adult books, and music. The finalists in each category are chosen by Borders employees; a panel of judges from the Borders corporate office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, chooses the winners.
Nicole Krauss won last year's fiction award for The History of Love (Norton, 2005).